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Planning for Future Open Space

The Parcel Priority Plan is a long-term planning effort to prioritize parcels for acquisition and protection that will enhance and enlarge Boston's network of resilient community parks.

The City of Boston’s Open Space and Recreation Plan identifies three challenge areas: equity, open space quality, and climate resilience. Acquiring or protecting new open space properties can help address these challenges when complemented by capital improvements and stewardship. BPRD’s Parcel Priority Plan (PPP) is a long-term planning effort to prioritize parcels for acquisition or protection that will enhance and enlarge Boston's network of resilient community parks. The PPP will be advanced through a combination of public input, data modeling, and interdepartmental collaboration. In turn, the PPP will inform planning efforts like the Open Space and Recreation Plan update to be released in 2022.  BPRD views this planning effort as an essential first step in updating our understanding of current open space expansion opportunities during this time of significant growth and development throughout the city.

PARCEL PRIORITY PLAN SURVEY

We want to hear from you! Where would you like to see open space? What should we focus on when acquiring or protecting open space? Your responses will shape the future of Boston's park system. We plan on having a series of meetings, as well as making an online survey questionnaire available. To participate in the online survey, see below.

terminology

ACQUISITION: In this context, acquisition is used to describe either the process of transferring ownership of a parcel to Parks and Recreation and/or the process of creating open space on a parcel.
 
OPEN SPACE: This term is used interchangeably with "parks" and can describe permanently protected and publicly accessible urban wilds, conservation lands, plazas, places with sports and other recreational opportunities, or simply landscaped areas with seating. Vacant lots and buildings are not considered open space, nor are streets and sidewalks. For this planning effort, we want you to highlight important areas that should become open space. 
 
PARCEL: A real estate term describing an area of land owned by someone; the invisible line that denotes ownership and tax liability. This term is used interchangeably with "property." Often, multiple parcels can make up a park. For instance, Franklin Park is made up of a group of parcels that function as one continuous park. Sometimes only a portion of a parcel is devoted to a park.
 
PROTECTION: A legal method to constrain types of development on a parcel, regardless of ownership, that conflict with its use as an open space. There are varying degrees of protection that affect how long protection is in place, what can happen on the parcel, and where. The Parks and Recreation Department advocates for permanently protected and publicly accessible parcels so that public open space access remains forever.